Montacilla Alba (Sädesärla, White Wagtail), Gränby, Uppsala
Pandion Haliaetus (Fiskgjuse, Osprey), Hjälstaviken, Uppland.
The Fieldfares(Björktrastar) outside my door are multiplying again. I´ve noticed that during this time, the abundance of crows, rooks, magpies and jackdaws have been reduced to rare fly-bys. Fieldfares are extremley territorial and unafraid birds. They mock all and every opposition with might. For some reason, they seem to accept the Wood pingeons that also nest in the same area. I believe their biggest enemy are the local kids with their stones and sticks.
Common birds, could be the name of the entire blog, so far i have not really put too much time into following the less common creatures.
The house sparrow is often seen but is not even close to the most numerous bird in scandinavia. Above is a typical male with his grey barret and lower back.
Below is a female that is sometimes confused with a tree sparrow since they live in similar biotopes. But as the english name suggests, the house sparrow tend to live a step closer to the humans and will even live under roofs and in walls of human dwellings.
The most common bird in northern europe? Im not sure and i have not counted, but one book i read recently mentioned the Willow warbler(Lövångare) as a strong candidate. In contrast to the house sparrow it is not a well known bird by most people and is seldom seen since it often stays hidden in tight vegetation.
Quite shy little creatures, every time i took a better position it flew right back into the bushes. Of course it did not dare to step out in the sun light for a single moment… And light is everything, even more important than the camera or even the bird itself:)
Corvus monedula (Kaja, Jackdaw)
Most often seen in packs of 100s around my place. Jackdaws are agile aviators and in the evenings just before sun down, they fly in tight formations making quick twists and turns, almost resembling a school of fish. This one though, was around browsing for this seasons place to live in.
Sturnus Vulgaris (Stare, European Starling)
Nope, thats not photoshoped (more than the color adjustments). Just pure luck when i followed the falcon in a series of shots when it was heading for the nest in a fast dive.
Male and female kestrels nesting.
Male halts to a hover and discover he is the target this time.
The female strikes the male violently several times. This happens in a fraction of a second and i got this shot only because i take a lot of shots and this strike happened to occur just as i pressed the button to the shutter. Don´t wait around, just shoot if you can. Digital film is cheap:). Sorting out the good from the useless ones costs time though…
Parus Major (Talgoxe, Great tit), Gränby, Uppsala.
I guess winter photography about birding would not be complete without a Great tit. This one was particularly loud.
Corvus frugilegus (Råka, Rook), Gränby, Uppsala.
I wouldnt call it the most romantic sign of spring, but the Rooks of Uppsala are gaining in numbers after their winter vaccation. Up until last week i had only seen a few during the entire winter, probably the same individuals. This week i have seen fifty or more of them.. Not everyone are glad to see them i suppose since they nest in flocks, high in the tree tops, and make quite some noise.
Note the unfeathered base of their beak and green/purple metallic almost silk-like feathers that is typical signs of a Rook. It can be confused with the much larger Raven or more easily with the Black crow(not in Sweden though). The Jackdaw(Kaja) is smaller and have a more greyish neck and grey/white eyes.
Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Stenknäck, Hawfinch)
Phasanius colchicus (Fasan, Common pheasant), Gränby, Uppsala.
According to Bill Bailey the Commedian, they do not have an agenda. I believe him. Pheasants are often seen in my area of Uppsala that borders to the farm and wood lands. This one was patrolling the back yards of a few houses close by my appartment. A few years ago, seventeen of them frequented the same area until a trapper of caught the bulk of them. Why not go to ICA, the grocery store, it´s just around the corner from this place…
Anas Platyrhynchos (Gräsand, Mallard)
Asio Otus (Hornuggla, Long-eared Owl), Fålhagen, Uppsala.
Eight or more Long-eared owls landed in one of the villa areas in Uppsala. They sat quite still during daytime with an audience of locals and the ususal bird nerds watching them. My pardon to the house owners for my intrusion on the back yards for the shots above.
Anser anser (Grågås, Greylag goose), September 2009, Hjälstaviken.
If you, like me care for taking a picture of your findings, or care more about the photograph as a whole than just what was depicted, many hours can be spent on just sorting(and mostly) rejecting files. Not always do i sort my newly taken images directly. It´s a continues process. I can return to the archives six month later and again, mostly reject another bunch of files, since they just take up space and make my archives slow to browse.
However, once in a while, i find new photos that was overlooked in a previous round of rating and rejecting. New photos that can be made useful, maybe in a dull winter afternoon where i´m unable to take fresh ones with my camera. The picture above is one such. For the post processing step i opted to only enhance saturation on the blue channel only, i think it was a successful move. It did not ruin the colours of the bird, but really made the sky pop and make a great contrast to the strong orange colour of the beak of this goose. Also, this bird flew quite close to my camera and is one of few hi resolution in-flight photos from this location.
Buteo buteo (Ormvråk, Common Buzzard)
While observing the Lapland Longspur, A Common Buzzard searching for prey sat down at one of the lamp posts along highway E4. I wanted to get a closeup, but as i got closer it descided to move to the next one.. and the next one.